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Doc U Fellows Launched!

December 10, 2018

SPNN launched the first year of Doc U Fellows, an advanced documentary program for emerging filmmakers from the Twin Cities in November. There was a competitive applicant pool. Seven individuals with six film projects were selected. This is an exciting opportunity for SPNN to support emerging storytellers as they work to share underrepresented stories. After two full-day sessions, productions are in full-swing!

Georgia Fort is producing a film about Femicide, the epidemic of homicides committed by men against their female partners. She will focus on heartbreaking stories in the Twin Cities. Georgia was the editor on the new film Rondo: Beyond the Pavement and has worked as a reporter and news anchor at various news stations. She currently produces and hosts Tlk Ave, a women's roundtable talk show.

Aida Alkadi is documenting her daughter's journey as a Muslim woman with sickle cell anemia, and her experience having to travel to Chicago for treatment. This film will touch on the lack of medical treatment in Minnesota and discrimination faced by patients of color. Aida produced her first documentary through SPNN's Doc U program and has since continued to create independent short films. 

Phillip McGraw's film focuses on the experiences and reactions of Black Minnesotans in regards to police brutality. He will touch on the effects of trauma in Black bodies, and the experience of a family who has lost a loved one to unjust police treatment. Phillip is a documentary filmmaker who focuses on Twin Cities stories. He completed a feature-length doc about artists of color in the Twin Cities.

Cameron Yang's film focuses on the stories of and relationships with their mother and grandmother. The film will follow Cam's trip back to Laos and Thailand with their mother. It will emphasize the intergenerational and cross-cultural expectations their family has of their future generations. Most of Cam's experience is in narrative filmmaking, with her biggest project being a feature titled Taboo. They currently co-host Nplooj Radio, a Hmong LGBTQIA + radio show.

Lizzie Hutchins is exploring ovarian cancer and its effect on her family. This partial claymation film will highlight her own journey to explore her health risks and the challenges that prevent families from knowing their family health history. She is an animation filmmaker from the Twin Cities who graduated from SPNN's Doc U program and participates in MinnAnimate.

Xiaolu Wang and Tahiel Jimenez is a duo that is producing a film about the Subversive Sirens, a gold medal-winning synchronized swimming team that fights for body positivity and equality. They will follow this team's journey to build community and send an important message while they compete in major competitions. They are filmmakers who have produced various film projects, including a short called Dumpling.

SPNN is excited to be on this journey with these filmmakers as they embark to share these important stories.